Pickin' berries with the 6000


Well-known Member
Mount Vernon, WA
Actually, smashing and chopping up berries are more accurate terms here.

The hay farmer I work for has limited things I can do with my 6000 because I don't have the hydraulics to pull
his big v-rake, he does not have a pull-type mower, and his balers require 100+ HP tractors. So up until recently
I've been limited to single-basket rakes and a tedder, which hardly work a 6000.

I was told that I could hook on to his 7-foot brush hog and mow the outside rounds of some of his fields. This is
done mainly to keep the blackberries down. I think I've found a new favorite thing to do with my tractor.

Some parts of the fields have been hugely overrun with blackberries, so I'll make more than one pass through
them. I've gone over 50 feet deep in places. As you can see, the berries fight me the whole way, and even leave
some blood stains on the front of my tractor as well. In the lap I took shown below, the vines were pulling so
hard that I could not steer in a straight line, they were pulling me inwards. I had to use the LH brake pedal to
keep going straight.

In the heavy stuff I usually mow in first gear, for two reasons: 1) it noticeably works the engine at times, and
2) I want to be careful to watch for obstructions such as big rocks or fenceposts. Sometimes the larger stands of
berries force me to stand on the LH step to keep from getting scratched up badly. For those unfamiliar with
blackberries, the vines can approach one inch in diameter, and the thorns on them are like nothing else I've ever

The paint on the front axle is scratched up a little, but that's what they make spray cans for. The paint on the
hood has hardener in it, and is not really affected by it. Besides, I didn't restore the tractor to sit back and
look at, but rather use.

The link below is a 60-second video I made of what it looks like from the seat.

Mowin berries
Thank you for sharing! Great job on getting your 6000 active again!

Blackberries in good ground very easily get over my head and like to cut ya! BTDT.

I like to back into areas like that. The mower takes the brunt of the pain that way. It also helps as you cut the full width and there are no weeds pushed over by the tires ahead of the mower.

In my area, Multiflora Rose is even worse than berry vines. The thorns are a reverse hook, so if one gets in your skin, it digs in deep and tears your skin. My war with them is ongoing. LOL! Backing over them with the mower raised and then dropping the mower on the crown is a most satisfying way to knock them down.
Keith in Ohio
GOTTA LOVE THESE 60 YEAR OLD TRACTORS! FORD TUFF, AND THEY LOVE TO WORK!!! Careful Bern, watch out for those wasps, bees, and hornets...and, depending on your region, lookout for teh snakes too... saved your picture to my ever growing folder. Thanks Bern.

Tim Daley(MI)

PS: Reminds me of my early 1939 9N that was my grandfather's. 83 years old and still going strong. That's the tractor, not my grandfather or me for that matter. Grandfather died the year before I was born, in 1955, and I'm NOT THAT OLD yet...
Removing the front weights, then,installing a bolster mounted bumper w grill guard, then putting the weights back on the bumper... Works really well for heavy brush and thickets... But I also added a under plate to keep the thicket away from the hoses, pipes and hydraulics under the engine on the 6640. ... I have a super right of way shredder that I cut and clear pastures with. This super 7' Hardee shredder (1600lbs) also tries to pick up the front end, so moving the weights out further helped that problem as well. The bumper is bad about getting grapevine wrapped up on it, but it keeps it away from the front end. I still get blasted occasionally from the side on the bigger huesache and mesquite trees. hth

The bushes, vines, and sapplings can cost you 3-4 feet of field edge per year. I do some mowing like that every year but never that bad!
Nice tractor - and video!
Have you run it enough to get a sense of any increases in HP and HP-hrs/gallon with that new turbo?
The exhaust is blowing pretty clear.
I spent my HS sophomore year near Portland, OR and remember those blackberry hedgerows well.
I try to mow my properties at least once
per year or I lose open land pretty fast.
I know it is a battle I will ultimately
lose but me and my trusty Fords will fight
the fight for as long as we are able.
As I noted in my original turbo post 2 months ago (link below), I did not install the turbo for more power, but rather to clean up the exhaust smoke, which as you observed it has, noticeably. It was also an attempt to keep the oil from loading up with soot so quickly, and that appears to be a side benefit as well. As for the fuel economy, while it has to be at least equal or better than the non-turbo configuration with regards to HP-HRS/GAL, it's hard to quantify that without putting it on the dyno for hours at a time, which I didn't really feel like doing.

I do know that when I was mowing those blackberries, there were times when I could distinctly hear the turbo spooling up, even when crawling along in first gear. That gave me an appreciation for just how much power was required to chop those nasty things up.
Original 6000 turbo post
I'm not going to turn my tractor into a tank. If thickets are involved, then the property owner needs to call someone out with a sidearm mower.
Backing in with the mower would be safer for sure, but in a 30-acre field that would take forever. It would turn a fun job into pure drudgery. And, one of the downsides of a SOS trans is fairly fast reverse gears. There would have to be a lot of slipping of the inching pedal to make that work, which is not good in the long run.
Haven't had any real issues with bees, etc., at least not yet. I see a lot of field mice scurrying out of the way, but not much else.
Wow, that is something Bern ! We are infested with invasive vines here and I have run through them with the 4630. They are the worst to deal with, get tangled on the driveline as I often times will go into them in reverse to avoid damage to the tractor. They grab onto the remote levers, throttle lever, me sometimes too. They always catch on the little pins in the hardware on the tractor and those you never find. I hate dealing with them, but try and keep them at bay.

Cool to see the 6000 working, you are braver than I. I'd do most any work after with it after such a great restoration, for the same reason, not so hard to keep em clean and what not if you do so right when done for the day, but those darned vines wrapping on things, shedding leaves clogging up vents and similar is more aggravation than it's worth. Every time I run in vines, I lose pins and risk damage, which makes me want to go get a dozer with a forestry package option LOL !!

I have gotten good with the tailwheel on my mower and catching them to pull them down and shred. The wild grape ones which are not invasive, are strong like wire rope I swear, I have a photo of my mower up in the air because it was hooked into the vine, I could not pull it off the tree, hooked but good. Often times I can use the tail wheel like a hook to pull it, then back over the darned thing to sever it. Not something I recommend though LOL, kind of glad I've cleared them out where I needed to, will use something different to reclaim the old fields here. The other thing to look out for in these parts it white faced or bald faced hornets (same hornet). Those nests are well hidden most of the time and can be at face level in vegetation, narrowly missed one on an open station tractor in 2004. I let that one be once I saw it, they are unstoppable once disturbed and you get tagged with the pheromone they mark you with so the others will know what to attack. The later the season, the bigger the nest, best to get the clearing done well in advance of the nests getting big.
That's the main reason I bought my 4000 15 years ago, vines. Worst ones on my property were the wild grape vines and the poison ivy. There was one growth that I thought was an overgrown shrub that had been infested with poison ivy, but when I drove the tractor over it and chopped it up with the mower I looked back and saw that the whole thing was nothing but poison ivy. It was 8 feet high, 12 feet wide and 20 feet long, and the main trunk coming out of the ground was actually a half dozen 2" diameter vines twisted around themselves, strong enough to stand up like a tree trunk for over 7 feet of height.

We sell tractor parts! We have the parts you need to repair your tractor - the right parts. Our low prices and years of research make us your best choice when you need parts. Shop Online Today.